Solved FreeBSD 11 (fresh install) hangs at boot stage 3

I'm having some troubles booting FreeBSD. I have experienced similar things before and have subsequently given up on installing BSD. With the stable release of FreeBSD 11, I thought I'd give it another try, but to no avail. I will describe my actions step by step.

I grabbed the amd64 memstick image from the official site, called "FreeBSD-11.0-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img.xz". I decompressed and wrote it to a bootable USB stick and proceeded to boot from it. I was greeted with the FreeBSD installer. I followed the prompts and installed FreeBSD over the top of a previous Linux installation using the default guided MBR disk layouts. When choosing a disk to install to, a messaged popped up that (from memory) mentioned "pre-install checks failed", but I OKed it and it went away. I confirmed the default partition scheme and FreeBSD was installed on my computer. I restarted.

The computer booted from its internal disks, and printed the FreeBSD ASCII art daemon head at boot stage 3. The little spinner was not spinning. The loader was not responding to the number keys for choosing the boot modes. The keyboard seemed to be ignored entirely. I re-imaged the boot USB and booted to it again. Now it also hangs at the stage 3 bootloader.

My computer is only responsive up to boot stage 2, whereby I can escape to choose the loader file. The internal disk boots off of an internal SSD, and stage 2 calls the file 0:ad(0,a)/boot/loader. The USB boots, and stage 2 calls it 0:ad(0p3)/boot/loader.

I am dumbfounded. Why would an installation on an internal disk have any effect on a live USB? How can I even begin to fix the boot problem if I can't even boot to a rescue OS? My current plan is to try manual partitioning and maybe tinker with the loader file. I may have to use a Linux for this. If you have any thoughts about my conundrum, I would very much like to hear them.


Stock computer name: Toshiba Satellite L50-C
Laptop, modded only with a replacement SSD of yet-to-be-named make.

CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U
SSD: SanDisk SDSSDA120GB(S1) <don't know what that even means>
Has options for SATA performance tweaking, so I guess she has SATA.
(As reported by UEFI ROM)


Weird ROM settings needed to be disabled. Something called "Virtualisation Technology" needed to be toggled off and now things are apparently sweet. Both the internal and external drives boot fine.
I'm unable to provide much help, but I think that a bit of info about your hardware would be helpful.
Does that computer support/require UEFI booting ?
Could you try to boot from a CD/DVD media ? (in case the issue is USB related).
What's the maker/model of the SSD exactly ?
Is there a "fast boot" (or similar fancy names) option in your UEFI/BIOS setting ?
What kind of hardware are you trying to install on? You only mentioned an SSD but not the type of system (CPU, mainboard, SATA or NVMe SSD? etc).
Is there a "fast boot" (or similar fancy names) option in your UEFI/BIOS setting ?
Yes, you definitely want to turn that off for any other operating system besides Windows.
OK, something strange has just happened. I was fiddling with the ROM boot options, and found some strange options, as ASX warned of. I turned off the option called "Intel Virtualisation Technology". The computer now boots from internal disks. Huzzah! I have no idea what that even is, but it was trouble.
It is not the option I was referring to, but I'm glad you have found a way to overcome the issue!
Just taking a guess, but perhaps it doesn't like the way you partitioned your target filesystem (the pre-install check failure)? I vaguely remember seeing that error in the past. And I also vaguely remember running into some really counter-intuitive problem in the installation related to that.
Just taking a guess, but perhaps it doesn't like the way you partitioned your target filesystem (the pre-install check failure)?

Indeed. Next time I might try GPT and use a layout from the manual. I don't understand how the disk layout would have an effect on the live USB though. They seem related: The USB boots before the installation and not after; but then toggling that random option fixed everything. All I know for sure is that I'm confused.